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Thomas Jefferson's Corps of Discovery included Captains Lewis and Clark and a crew of 28 men to chart a route from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. All the crew but one volunteered for the mission. York, the enslaved man taken on the journey, did not choose to go. Slaves did not have choices. York's contributions to the expedition, however, were invaluable. The captains came to rely on York's judgement, determination, and peacemaking role with the American Indian nations they encountered. But as York's independence and status rose on the journey, the question remained what status he would carry once the expedition was over. This is his story.
Thomas Jefferson's Corps of Discovery included Captains Lewis and Clark and a crew of 28 men to chart a route from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. All the crew ...
"Harris contributes a series of well-composed tableaux, portraying each character with dignity while featuring a variety of American landscapes. A picture book spotlighting York is welcome, and his portrayal here is respectful and sympathetic. . . .this picture book provides a colorful introduction to York, a unique figure in American history." - Booklist
January 1, 2019
"Children studying Lewis and Clark probably learn about Sacawajea, but is York ever mentioned? I had certainly never heard of him. When President Jefferson called for an expedition and Captains Lewis and Clark recruited able-bodied men as volunteers, one man went along without volunteering; York. Captain Clark's slave. York was never given a choice. . . .Although in picture book format, I'd give this to older elementary students, especially those studying Lewis and Clark, to give them a different and wider perspective on the event. It's too long for a casual read-aloud, but a teacher could read sections aloud in their classroom with, I think, great results. It's well-written and the author thoughtfully discusses the lack of sources. Recommended." - Jean Little Library
April 26, 2019
"Davis imagines York's feelings as he navigates his role as both enslaved African-American man and almost-full member of the expedition, narrating in a stiff voice that emulates 19th-century prose and also captures the stress of life as a second-class citizen. . . .Harris' illustrations also evoke the flat, primitive style of much 19th-century painting. Compositions frequently place York at the margins or in the shadows, underscoring the fact that he was not a full member of the party. . . .An important, underheard voice." - Kirkus Reviews
November 1, 2018
"This narrative of the Lewis and Clark Expedition is a good introduction to this chapter of American History and provides a unique viewpoint. It would be interesting to compare and contrast other texts in which York was not the principal narrator…" - PSLA Teaching and Learning, Literature Review
June 14, 2019
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